Marriage Legalities

Couples marrying in Australia must complete a Notice of Intended Marriage Form 13. This NOIM Form is in accordance with the Australian Marriage Act 1961, valid for up to 18 months before the marriage, but should be completed at least one calendar month prior to the date of your marriage. If either bride or groom cannot sign this notice at the time, the other party may sign the notice and give it to me. At least one of the parties to be married must sign the NOIM one month prior to the ceremony. The party who has not signed the notice must then sign it, in my presence, before the marriage is solemnized. For identification and proof of age the bride and groom will each need to provide the following original papers [not copies or scans]:

If born in Australia

  • an original birth certificate OR
  • an original extract of birth OR
  • a current Australian passport

If born Overseas

  • supply an original birth certificate OR
  • an original extract of birth OR
  • an Overseas passport

If you do not have an original Birth Certificate contact the Registrar for Births, Deaths and Marriages in the state you were born in. It’s advised to act promptly should this be required as this can take several weeks to obtain. Please note that if any of the documentation is in a language other than English, you must ensure they are officially translated and authorized by a person who is a legally recognized translator as accredited through NAATI National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters. A translator can be found in the Yellow Pages or by contacting the Australian or English Embassy in the country you reside. To marry, you must be 18 years and over, not in a prohibited relationship and not already legally married. If one person to the marriage is under 18 years of age a parent’s consent and a court order under Section 12 of the marriage Act is required. Form 14 The Declaration of Marriage must be signed preferably in the last week before the ceremony. This form is where the bride and the groom each make a declaration before an authorized celebrant as to their conjugal status and belief that there is no legal impediment to marriage. There may be reasons why you require a Shortening of Time (less than one month) to be permitted to marry. There are only certain considerations for this such as Employment related or other travel commitments, Wedding or celebration arrangements or religious considerations, Medical Reasons, Legal proceedings or Error in giving notice only on the part of the celebrant. To apply for a Shortening of Time you must contact the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your capital city for more information.  
During the wedding ceremony there are certain legal requirements that must be observed during the ceremony to ensure its validity. The Celebrant must always introduce him or herself

The couple’s full name

The couple’s full names (as per the name used on the Notice) must be said by the celebrant, or the couple, at least once. This can happen at the beginning of the ceremony or at any time prior to, or included in, the vows – this is to ensure the couple are identified.

The Monitum

Section 46 (1) (The Monitum) must be said by the Celebrant. This is the legal definition of marriage according to Australian law.

The Vows

Section 45 (2) (The Vows) must be said by each party to the wedding – the bride and the groom. Whilst couples may choose to say certain words to one another, the legal vow that must be included is “I call upon everyone here to witness that I, Xxxx Yxxxx Zzzz, take you, Aaaa Bbbb Cccc, to be my lawful wedded husband/wife.”

Two witnesses

Two witnesses 18 years or over must be in attendance at the wedding ceremony. They must be able to see and hear everything that is said throughout the ceremony and they must witness the documents.

Following the Vows and at the conclusion of the Ceremony – The Marriage Certificate, The Couple’s Certificate and the Celebrant’s Register – must be signed by the couple, the celebrant and the two witnesses. The celebrant will give you the Couple’s certificate as a record of your marriage.
After the wedding ceremony the Celebrant must lodge the paperwork with the Registering Authority; the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) in Sydney within 14 days of the wedding. There is an estimated waiting period for completed registration of approximately 6 – 8 weeks once the BDM have received the paperwork. The certificate issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is required for many official purposes. You should apply for a copy of this certificate from the registry after your wedding.